If you are looking for a smooth, fluffy contemporary retelling of Cinderella wrapped in a love letter to geek culture, then hey, hi, hello, have you met “Geekerella”? Yes, this is another addition to the “Chelscey’s real late to the party” book list, but here we are. Geekerella is exactly what you expect it to be, equal parts Cinderella retelling with a healthy dose of “You’ve Got Mail”, this book was so easy to read, and even though parts brought a few tears to my eyes with how touching they were, this book was otherwise incredibly sweet, fluffy, and geeky. A combination I didn’t know that I enjoyed until I was neck deep in Elle and Darien’s story.
If you know the story of Cinderella, then nothing in this book will be a surprise, which is honestly fine with me. The contemporary twist alongside geek and con culture was enough to make this feel refreshing and new, even when I knew where the story was going. I loved seeing Poston’s reinvention of the fairy godmother character, and being able to see into Darien's mind as the “prince” and his struggles helped me really pull for these two characters, which you don’t often get with Cinderella tales. I will say that Sage was probably my absolute favorite character and I was really hoping that the next book in this shared universe would have her story in it, but alas, that looks not to be.
“Geekerella” is also very self-aware of what it is, to the point of being pretty meta. For example, the characters themselves acknowledge and discuss just how much of what’s occurring is a Cinderella story, or that what the main characters are doing is very much like “You’ve Got Mail”. I didn’t mind it even if I found it a little funny at times. In fact, the only thing that even came close to bothering me was how much of a pushover both main characters could be at times when dealing with their families. I often wanted to shake both Elle and Darien for never saying anything until closer to the end of the story, but I guess that’s what makes this a young adult book, after all.
I really loved this novel. It was so smooth and comforting to read, even with the scene when all the cosplayers come together that had me tearing up. For as much as this is a love letter to the geek community, I also appreciated that Poston didn’t completely ignore the toxic aspects that can fester in such communities around who counts as a “real” fan, and the gatekeeping that can occur as a result. It was a message that had a nice undercurrent to the story that I greatly appreciated, which is what pushed this book from the 4.5 to the full 5 star rating for me! Now I just need someone to convince me to read the other books in this universe even though Sage isn’t in them…
Click the book images to see them on Amazon!